When It’s Not Nice to Share
May 31, 2013

It’s the night before your big audition/talent show/school presentation, and you finally came up with the PERFECT song, composed by this hot up-and-coming composer - the one song that’s sure to land you the part/make you a star/earn you an A+.  The only thing in your way is that you don’t actually have a copy of the sheet music in your collection.  Not a problem… you’re sure to find a free version online that you can download and print off.  There are tons of music-sharing sites on the internet, and that’s what they’re there for – to supply you with music you don’t yet own, right?  Except there’s one hitch.  There’s no “sharing” involved.  Not really.  It’s copying.  A digital replication is made from originals, and that’s what you download.

So what’s the hitch, you ask?  It’s a moral one.  The song you’re about to download for free is protected by copyright laws, and is an illegal copy.   That hot up-and-coming composer that you love so much created the work with his own genius, and is not willing to just give it away.  It’s what he does for part of his living, and he’s expecting to be compensated for his work, just as you expect to walk away from your work with a paycheck every week.  In fact, not only is the composer expecting to be compensated from the sale of his music, but there’s a whole team of people who expect compensation from that sheet music sale:  the lyricist, the publisher, the copyist, the arranger and the distributor to name a few.

Jason Robert Brown

Jason Robert Brown is a very popular broadway composer (The Last Five Years; Songs for a New World; 13; Parade) who, in 2010, tackled the issue of illegal music-sharing head on.  (Read more…)

New RCM Violin Syllabus is here!
May 16, 2013


Attention violin teachers: the new RCM Violin Syllabus is here! The 2013 edition corresponds with the new 2013 Violin Series released in March and replaces the 2006 edition for examination purposes. (Read more…)

Fun Friday: The Bottle Song
May 10, 2013

Bizet would be proud, no doubt, by this festive use of his Toreador song:

Quick Guide to our Online Catalogue
May 9, 2013

The Leading Note’s online catalogue is a great tool to find the music you are looking for. There are numerous features that can help you track down the specific book you need. This guide will introduce you to these features.

The best place to start when searching for a book is to use the general search field in the top-right corner of every page:


You can enter any keywords in this field including composer, arranger, title, instrument, opus number, etc. In general, less is more—the fewer search terms the larger the results will be. Spelling needs to be correct but you do not need to include complete words; for example, “concert” will help you find concerto, concertos, concerti, concertinos, etc. (Read more…)

What Is an Urtext Edition?
May 1, 2013


Not all print music is the same. Not all publishers are the same.

Some publishers make a business of selling inexpensive reprints of old edition; some publishers produce practical editions for the student market or another specific purpose.

A handful of publishers, however, create scores called “urtext editions” that are highly regarded by professional musicians, teachers and students. What is an Urtext and how is it different from other musical scores? Read on to find out!

(Read more…)